Trainspotting star: City of Edinburgh Music School must be protected

Ewen Bremner, Photo by Phil WilkinsonEwen Bremner, Photo by Phil Wilkinson
Ewen Bremner, Photo by Phil Wilkinson

Trainspotting star Ewen Bremner has demanded a reprieve for Edinburgh’s closure-threatened music school – calling for it to be “protected at all costs.”

Bremner, whose daughter Harmony recently finished studying at the City of Edinburgh Music School, described it as “a beacon in the city’s cultural firmament”.

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He said he had been “stunned” by countless performances staged by pupils over the years at the music school, which is based at Broughton High.

And the Edinburgh-born actor, who played Spud in the hit films, said it would “devastatingly short-sighted to allow the destruction of this great ambassador for Scotland”.

It emerged last week that Edinburgh City Council had drawn up plans for its closure to save £363,000 a year from its budget. Officials have proposed scrapping specialist provision in favour of a city-wide tuition service. The move is expected to face opposition from the Scottish Government, which provides direct funding for the music school.

Bremner said: “It is a world-leading institution respected and fêted way beyond the bounds of Edinburgh. It deserves to be protected at all costs. It’s a real beacon in the city’s cultural firmament.

“The professionalism nurtured in all its students is an inspiration, not just to me, but to everyone they will ever study and work with.

“Every child is welcome to apply, regardless of academic or even musical qualifications – their selection is purely based on merit. Children from all economic, social and cultural backgrounds are expertly nurtured by Scotland’s finest specialist teachers.

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“The relationship the school has with Broughton High is exceptional. Both schools fully embrace and value each other. The academic results that are generated … are absolutely off the charts.”

Speaking from his home in New York, Bremner said Harmony applied for a place at the music school after he spotted an advert in The Scotsman. After studying flute, voice and piano at the music school, she is now pursuing an acting career at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

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He added: “I’ve witnessed first hand the transformational impact the teaching has had on students and I’ve been stunned by countless performances over the years.

“The music school is one Edinburgh’s most precious institutions and must be fought for. The rationale given to siphon away its own allocated funding badly fails to recognise how much it repays its investment in so many ways.

“It would be devastatingly short-sighted to allow the destruction of this great ambassador for Scotland.”

A council spokeswoman said: “I would encourage residents to have their say on our budget consultation when it is published next week.”